Quality Crabcakes and Sandwiches at Rybread in Fairmont

Today, we are getting another report from profiled luncher Stephanie, this time on the superior sandwiches available in the Fairmont area.

A hop, skip, and short bus ride away from Center City lies the charming neighborhood of Fairmount. Wandering around this charming city-suburb, you can find baby strollers, tree-lined streets, and one of the best sandwich shops in town.

Plain and simple, Rybread makes good sandwiches. Deviating from the recent trend of delicious frou-frou sandwiches a la exotic banh mi or the ultimate roast pork sammich, Rybread’s repertoire of sandwiches hail from classic recipes. That is not to say, however, that Rybread is not gourmet; they are. Yet, there is undoubtedly a focus on putting together simple ingredients that result in simple goodness.

With a selection of 18 sandwiches and paninis to choose from (including the enticing NOLA, a shrimp salad on brioche, and the Sedona, a cure-all grilled cheese remedy customizable for your bacon and apple additions), I ordered the house signature – the Rybread.

Crab cake, greens, tomato, chipotle mayo, served on a brioche bun. At $8.50, the Rybread is the most expensive item on the menu and still reasonably priced for lunch.

As I took the first bite into my Rybread, my tastebuds experienced an euphoric explosion of palatable gratification. Behind the sweetness of the crab cake was a hint of spicy cayenne and chipotle that complemented rather than overcompensated for flavor. The tomato was perfectly un-soggy, and the mixed greens a nice alternative to basic sandwich lettuce. The brioche bun from Le Bus was eggy, fluffy, and a good support base for the vegetable accoutrements.

Upon my second bite, I made a startling realization. This was whole lump crab, not surimi (imitation crab). There weren’t any breadcrumbs or fillers present either – just a dash of spices, finely chopped onions, and genuine, crabtastic glory.

I throroughly savored my sandwich to great relish, and needless to say, I shall be back for more. Although I am now inclined to try every sandwich on the Rybread menu, it will be hard to resist reordering the utterly delicious eponymous house special!

If you’re jonesing for a little sweetness to complete your meal, I recommend trying Rybread’s refreshing iced tea (brewed in-house) or coffee, which you can modify to your liking with their generous assortment of creamers and sweeteners (– honey, agave, brown sugar, oh my)! Their cupcakes and scones are also worthy of a gander as they are baked daily and deliciously decadent.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • A grand assortment of delicious sandwich fare (and salads, too!)
  • Good, simple ingredients.
  • Friendly, hospitable service; they’re likely to remember your name.

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • Limited dining area in wintertime, as outdoor seating becomes a tad restricted.

Rybread, 2319 Fairmount Avenue, 215-769-0603



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    I haven’t had a sandwich on brioche bread before. The menu sounds intriguing and I’m definitely trying Rybread this weekend.

    • @ Dorayaki: Rybread’s sandwiches really are fabulous. Where brioche bun-sandwiches are concerned, I also highly recommend the “Atlantic” at Le Bus Bakery. Salmon + Apple Salsa + Mixed Greens + Brioche = Delicious.

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    I see the Santa Fe as a solid option for us vegetarians, however, I’m more interested in this cure-all grilled cheese on a brioche. Are there any suggested addition combinations? Like pesto and cranberry… talk about explosion of palatable gratification.

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